Scott Nicol

Scott Nicol

Lives in United Kingdom Kent, United Kingdom
Works as a Scientist
Has a website at www.snicolphotos.com
Joined on Dec 14, 2010

Comments

Total: 22, showing: 1 – 20
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On Travel tripods: Comparing 5 aluminum kits article (109 comments in total)

I've been using the BeFree for six months now and overall I like it but its not perfect but it is pretty travel friendly and as always, the best tripod is the one you can be bothered to take with you. I've not really had any problems with the levers or angle adjustment knobs in the field but do concur with your vibration findings - When fully extended in windy conditions its just not as stable as I would like. I put this down to the very thin final legs sections.
I use it mainly for wide angle / landscape work with assorted mirrorless cameras so never get anywhere the max load. Combine the befree with a mid size lightweight shoulder bag and a couple of mirrorless camera lenses and you have a very flexible complete set up (for my style of photography) that still comes in well under 3Kg. I can walk around all day with this set whilst still looking discrete and not breaking my back with gear.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 21, 2014 at 21:34 UTC as 17th comment
On Sony a6000 Review preview (728 comments in total)
In reply to:

Strachen: Strange that an model that starts with the a does not take a mount lens. Just sayin.......

Technically all the NEX cameras were Alpha-NEX so its been the case for many years BUT I do take your point - its confusing to exisiting owners let alone the average buyer - Sony's brand management and communications are amongst the worst in the industry in my opinion which must be frustrating for the guys actually designing, making and selling the cameras.... and I say that as a long term owner and user of alpha mount and NEX cameras.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 18, 2014 at 11:11 UTC
On Sony a6000 Review preview (728 comments in total)
In reply to:

Hubertus Bigend: I wonder how a smallish EVF with 462 x 346 effective RGB pixels can be "respectable" for a camera that offers 24 MP, let alone so many years after the first mirrorless camera has appeared on the market. Even the best EVF available today still lacks the clear image of a good optical SLR finder that allows precise manual focus without the nuisance of having to switch into a zoom-in mode. But an EVF like the current Olympus finder and probably the Fuji X-T1 finder, too, is at least a step in the right direction. New electronic finders should improve on that, not deteriorate.

@Hubertus have you had a chance to try the EVF on a Fuji X-T1? I tried a friends and found it impressive with its dual full screen / zoomed detail view (although I disliked the low refresh rate that appears to be a power saving feature until you half press the shutter - I tried it under fluorescent lighting and it was distracting). Of course, its worth noting that the X-T1 is in a different price bracket to the 6000.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 3, 2014 at 14:33 UTC
On Sony a6000 Review preview (728 comments in total)
In reply to:

Hubertus Bigend: I wonder how a smallish EVF with 462 x 346 effective RGB pixels can be "respectable" for a camera that offers 24 MP, let alone so many years after the first mirrorless camera has appeared on the market. Even the best EVF available today still lacks the clear image of a good optical SLR finder that allows precise manual focus without the nuisance of having to switch into a zoom-in mode. But an EVF like the current Olympus finder and probably the Fuji X-T1 finder, too, is at least a step in the right direction. New electronic finders should improve on that, not deteriorate.

@Hubertus Yes I can see from a legacy lens point of view the lower res might be more of an issue if you want to focus whilst still seeing the whole scene unzoomed. My experience of focus peaking is that it helps immensely in good light but can struggle in low light / low contrast scenes. I guess my comments more address this idea that the A6000 is vastly inferior to the a77 / 6 EVF due to the drop in resolution - its actually more complex than that due to the refresh / improved optics and diopter adjustments. I personally would still give the a77 / 6 the edge but its much closer than resolution specs alone would suggest and so far I found it an easy adjustment to make when I swithc between the 2 (I still use the 6 as a backup body).

Direct link | Posted on Jun 3, 2014 at 14:27 UTC
On Sony a6000 Review preview (728 comments in total)
In reply to:

h2k: A camera without touchscreen? That feels almost un-Sony.

Dropping the level gauge to shave a small bit off manufacturing costs (we presume) to help hit the price point was a curious move - by no means a deal breaker for me but It is vaguely annoying and I do miss it. Even more penny pinching though is the omission of the hotshoe cover that came with the NEX 6 - its a bit of black plastic that would have cost a few pennies / cents at most.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 3, 2014 at 11:39 UTC
On Sony a6000 Review preview (728 comments in total)
In reply to:

h2k: A camera without touchscreen? That feels almost un-Sony.

I'm pretty sure the Nex 5 didn't have one either - I think it was introduced with the 5n

Direct link | Posted on Jun 3, 2014 at 11:19 UTC
On Sony a6000 Review preview (728 comments in total)
In reply to:

Hubertus Bigend: I wonder how a smallish EVF with 462 x 346 effective RGB pixels can be "respectable" for a camera that offers 24 MP, let alone so many years after the first mirrorless camera has appeared on the market. Even the best EVF available today still lacks the clear image of a good optical SLR finder that allows precise manual focus without the nuisance of having to switch into a zoom-in mode. But an EVF like the current Olympus finder and probably the Fuji X-T1 finder, too, is at least a step in the right direction. New electronic finders should improve on that, not deteriorate.

I'm basing the above assessment on my previous experience with the a77 / NEX 6 and old a55 EVFs by the way

Direct link | Posted on Jun 3, 2014 at 11:15 UTC
On Sony a6000 Review preview (728 comments in total)
In reply to:

Hubertus Bigend: I wonder how a smallish EVF with 462 x 346 effective RGB pixels can be "respectable" for a camera that offers 24 MP, let alone so many years after the first mirrorless camera has appeared on the market. Even the best EVF available today still lacks the clear image of a good optical SLR finder that allows precise manual focus without the nuisance of having to switch into a zoom-in mode. But an EVF like the current Olympus finder and probably the Fuji X-T1 finder, too, is at least a step in the right direction. New electronic finders should improve on that, not deteriorate.

I was initially worried about the step down in EVF res but in practical use the new EVF is fine - the improved optics help a bit I think in terms of clarity and brightness, refresh rate feels much better in low light plus manual focusing with the auto zoom / peaking and in viewfinder distance scale (all when using a native lens) really help.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 3, 2014 at 11:14 UTC
On 1939: England in Color (part 1) article (218 comments in total)

A fascinating series of 'vernacular' photographs - the biggest contribution of photography to our lives comes from shots like these that simply act as a window to the past. That most of them are composed with some degree of skill and understanding of photography also raises them above faded holiday snaps into something much more enduring and interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Along similar lines, I recently started to scan in photos from my grandfather's album - a mixture of his own photos, official photos and postcards from his time as a Royal Marine from 1939 all the way into the late 1950s. Although many of the shots are not as technically proficient as these shots, its a fascinating journey from Pompeii Training Barracks in 1939 through the North Atlantic Convoys, Japan in 1946 to simply touring the world in the 1950s.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 25, 2014 at 09:24 UTC as 144th comment

Actually, on the QX10 (which I have) it adds ISO adjustment and a bump in video recording from 1440 x 1080(30p) to 1920 x 1080 (30p). These are things that should have been on the camera from the start but its nice to see them added.

(scrub that - although thats listed in the firmware notes for v3, turns out those were both added in version 2 anyway)

I was lucky and picked up the QX10 as ex demo unit for a few pounds over 100 GBP and I like it for its fun factor rather than as a serious camera. I can live without RAW capability but I still think sony should have added some sort of manual control for shutter speed and aperture like its bigger brother - I'm convinced that was solely for product differentiation and could easiliy be added in a firmware upgrade.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 16, 2014 at 11:23 UTC as 3rd comment
On DxO releases FilmPack 4, with 65 new creative effects article (62 comments in total)
In reply to:

Olivier from DxO Labs: Hello to all,
Thank you for your comments.
You can also have a look behind the scene of DxO FilmPack on this page :
http://campaigns.dxo.com/filmpack/en/US/intro

Best,
Olivier

long term DXO / filmpack user here - have downloaded and tried the new version and on the whole like the new effects and interface, certainly worth the upgrade fee for me. One criticism / suggestion re the frames - other plugins / tools have more options to vary things like the frame thickness - would be a useful addition in future updates (if only for the plain black / white frames). Also, when I saw film as a frame I was hoping to see the complete sprocket holes rather than just a hint at the edge - again the choice to adjust this to taste would be useful. But on the whole, nice.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 5, 2013 at 17:59 UTC
In reply to:

RobertSigmund: I am happy with my Sony 1,8 35. It is cheap, and it is light, and the pictures it makes are nice, and it already has fallen of the floor without damage. Why should I spend money for the difference between 1,8 and 1,4?

The Sony 1.8 is indeed a great lens in terms of optics and value.. however the Sigma is different class of lens in many ways - its slightly faster, optically superior, has higher build quality and perhaps most importantly is a full frame lens for cameras like the A99. Whether that justifies the extra 600 or so GBP is down to the individual user and his / her requirements.

Direct link | Posted on May 24, 2013 at 10:18 UTC
In reply to:

rjx: I like the idea of the 12mm. But why a 32mm 1.8 lens? I'm sure it will be a great quality lens hopefully with the great Zeiss microcontrast. But the Fuji 35mm 1.4 is a one of the best lenses on any system and it's half the price of the Zeiss 32mm. Why not release something different, like an 85mm prime?

And of course the Sigma 30mm f2.8 for NEX as well - a tad slower, plastic shell but great IQ and ridiculously cheap.

I guess choice is good though as all 3 are great to fab lenses (i'm giving the zeiss the benefit of the doubt - I expect it to be stunning).. dirt cheap, mid range with OSS or ultimate IQ at a price.

I too would have liked to see something different but then a fast 85mm in a small, NEX friendly size would be a lot trickier to design.

Direct link | Posted on May 1, 2013 at 00:42 UTC
On Just posted: Sony Alpha NEX-6 Review article (330 comments in total)
In reply to:

Plastek: Yawn... yet another NEX? Which one is this within last 24 months? 3rd? 5th? 10th?

Whilst I agree that Sony is getting a bit of a rep of producing too many bodies and not enough lenses, I don't think that is a fair reason for criticising DPR for reviewing what is an excellent camera with many user requested refinements and upgrades.
Oh, and there are 5 primes and 6 zooms by Sony in E-mount - these are already out and available to buy now. Plus the 2 adaptors for the 16mm and 2 excellent sigma primes... and more to come this year from Sony and Third parties. Whilst its competitors certainly have more lens options, the argument that there are no lenses for the NEX is getting a little old. There is of course always room for more and better lenses but the system as a whole is starting to mature nicely and this camera is, in my opinion, an excellent example of that.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 26, 2013 at 15:29 UTC
In reply to:

zvezdaphoto: Some very funny, sad, ignorant and the odd voice of reason on dpreview and a few other places in the media today about the fate of Jessops. Having worked for the company twice, the problems with the business model are plain for all who have any inside knowledge to see. It is a complex mixture of market place, changing times, consumer apathy and to be honest some plain bad management from the senior people (On a golf course near you). I don't want to lament the failure, but reading the comments from some people saying how they won't miss Jessops and good riddance etc ... has left me feeling somewhat cold and in an odd way a little bit angry.

Message boards like this one (1) give people anonymity and (2) require people to be brief and / or generalise. I'm sure many of the people making the angrier / harsher comments would not be so callous as to seek out their nearby Jessops store and make those same statements to the face of staff who face a a very distressing period ahead of statutory redundancy and job seeking in a sector that has an increasingly bleak outlook. Yet here, from the comfort of their keyboard they feel free to do so and indeed are (rightly or wrongly) entitled to their opinions.

The flipside of this is that Jessops as a company wasn't a great chain and had many problems / faults (listed ad nauseum across the web in the last few days) and customers do, quite rightly, feel angry at the company for their own poor experiences and losses (e.g. lost deposits, vouchers, damaged goods that they can't return etc).

As you say, lets hope something can be salvaged from this mess for both the staff and customers sake.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 11, 2013 at 11:20 UTC

This is bad news for photography as a hobby in the UK. For all its faults (which were many) it had SOME good stores / staff and I feel sorry for them. Plus they were a presence on the high street - people new to photography could go there and ask advice / see and handle cameras before they bought and get their pictures printed. This helps bring new photographers into the hobby, those making the jump from phones to something with more control and IQ.
In the long term, this could be good for independents and the few remaining small camera chains but in the short term this causes disruption in the market place, potentially a flood of cheap stock if theres a firesale and generally puts people off making camera purchases until the dust settles (e.g. people wait to see if jessops start dropping prices) Given the mixed reports we are seeing for Christmas sales, a month of hesitant customers in an already slow period could be enough to force a few non-jessops stores to the wall too.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 10, 2013 at 15:11 UTC as 30th comment
On Just Posted: Sony Alpha SLT-A57 review article (235 comments in total)

Nice review of a great little upgrade - although as an a55 user, I would really miss the GPS function.

One question - does this camera overcome the studio light problem (i.e. if you try and use it under studio strobes, the viewfinder is too dark to see unless you find a work around (i.e. find a way to pop up the flash to compensate for the lack off light until the strobes fire)?

Direct link | Posted on Sep 14, 2012 at 11:20 UTC as 37th comment | 4 replies
On Just Posted: Canon EOS 650D / EOS Rebel T4i review article (232 comments in total)
In reply to:

IcyVeins: DPR Why did you fast track this camera over ones that have been available longer and are probably better, like the A57 and K-30 and GF5 and RX100?

Another Sony shooter here - as much as I'm interested in seeing an a57 review, its strange to say DPR hate Sony - look at the list of golds awarded to interchangeable lens cameras since they updated their review format a few years back - 12 cameras got the gold and 4 of them were Sony (c.f. 3 canon, 3 nikon and 1 for Pentax and Olympus) - they may take their time reviewing all the different Sony models that flood in but they do seem to like them... they like them quite a bit in fact.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 21, 2012 at 09:01 UTC
On DxO Labs launches Optics Pro 7.1 for Mac and Windows article (95 comments in total)

Been using 7 for a few weeks now and can say that its a great upgrade if you need the new profiles (e.g. Sony A77) with some nice interface tweaks and a noticeable speed increase on my PC (less so on my Macbook Pro but that was already fast). If you have version 6.6 and don't need the new profiles / were happy with the speed, its a nice rather than essential upgrade as core image processing functionality is the same. The upgrade cost for existing users is reasonable compared to some I've seen, support has been excellent - I had a few issues with 6.x and every time I contacted DXO, I had personal responses within 1 working day from people that seemed to know what they were talking about rather than reading off a help sheet. I recommend DXO to all my photog friends but they seem obsessed with Adobe products - and then moan about the time it takes to learn how to use them! DXO is the most powerful EASY to use Raw processor on my PC.. and I've got 8 of them installed at the moment!

Direct link | Posted on Dec 20, 2011 at 09:49 UTC as 23rd comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

robbo d: Wow.....I am amazed at the hate mail these new products get, Lol.

Would have thought someone just took one of your favourite toys !!!! The Pentax Q has a rival for negative reaction here..........

Now I am looking to upgrade my glass from Pentax kit, so already have image stab in camera, like the quality of EX glass, cheaper than Pentax glass.....

Hmmmmm, am I missing something here, I would have thought it would be a definite option for someone like me????

Arent Sigma just offering a specific option for people with in camera stab?? Would have thought that was commendable, as you can get issues with trying to use lens stab at the same time.

robbo, the anger is because Sigma released the OS version 2 years ago for Sony / Pentax, but are now revising the design to remove the OS without any additional features e.g. reduction in size / weight / improved IQ but plan to charge exactly the same as before.. and stop making the earlier OS version in Sony / pentax.. but keep making the canikon version WITH OS.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 3, 2011 at 11:19 UTC
Total: 22, showing: 1 – 20
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